Too Soon?

I’ve been thinking about two different ideas of too soon recently. The first is a little less serious than the second.

Spoilers: how soon is too soon for spoilers? How long should we wait before we stop worrying about spoiling shows for other people? So many people watch TV via DVR and DVD now that we will always know someone who has not watched a show, but plans to some day. Many people cry all the time about spoilers and apparently think no one should ever spoil a TV show or movie ever. In a recent Entertainment Weekly article, the writer says he was yelled at for giving away the ending of Citizen Kane, a movie that was released before he was born. Personally, I don’t care if I know what is coming in a show. I would prefer not to be spoiled on major events, but it doesn’t change my enjoyment of the show if I do know. I respect the opinion of “no spoilers ever” and won’t talk about a show on purpose in front of people who don’t want to be spoiled. I do tank, though, that the burden is on them when it comes to articles online. If you don’t want to know, don’t read. Too soon? It is a personal decision and you need to make an effort to avoid it yourself and not impose your view on others.

The other too soon topic is humor? The Onion is known for publishing satire about recent news events. When those news events are tragic, people complain that it is too soon to joke about it. Is there such a thing as too soon when it comes to humor? Are there events that will always be off limits when it comes to humor? I personally like The Onion articles and think they do a good job of covering tragic events without being insensitive to the victims. Are any topics off limits? I don’t think so. I think humor is a very personal thing. If you don like the humor about tragic events, don’t read the articles or stop listening to the joke. Walk away. Don’t impose your humor rules on others.

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2 Comments

  1. My general rule of thumb is to attempt not to give spoilers, no matter how old a piece of media is, though there are exceptions to this rule (for example, if I’m reviewing a sequel, where explaining the events requires giving spoilers for an earlier book/movie in the series, I’ll post a spoiler alert for the earlier book/film–had to do that in two different reviews yesterday on completely unrelated things, actually). I recall sometime over the last year reviewing a movie from the twenties where I went back and edited out a sentence that could have been construed as a spoiler. I think it was Torrent, but don’t remember off the top of my head.

    Never, ever, ever too soon for humor. Though I tend to keep my first thoughts upon hearing about a tragedy in my head rather than airing them. Which is too bad, because some of that stuff is comedy gold…

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